Avoiding Carbon Emissions
The on-site solar array planned for our Carolina Lithium project should supply a portion of the power needed to operate our integrated project. Our solar farm is expected to produce up to 18 MW during peak production periods, which should avoid approximately 4.2 MT of CO2 equivalent.
Responsible power sources were a key criteria in the site selection process for our Tennessee Lithium project. Tennessee rated highly in this category due to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s commitment to reducing coal-fired units and leveraging low-carbon generation resources, including nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar.
Mitigating Chemical Emissions
Planned lithium hydroxide production for Tennessee Lithium and Carolina Lithium is being designed to use the innovative Metso:Outotec alkaline pressure leaching technology for refining spodumene concentrate. This process eliminates the use of acid-roasting, providing a sodium-sulfate and acid-free method for producing battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
In the planned Metso:Outotec process, liquids, condensates, and process solutions will be recycled throughout the stages of conversion, and multiple natural gas burning elements that are typically included in traditional conversion technologies will be removed from the drying process. We believe our entire conversion method is environmentally sustainable and should reduce overall air pollutants and carbon emissions.
We anticipate that Piedmont will be among the first lithium hydroxide producers in the world to use this innovative approach and should provide us with a more responsible profile in terms of safety, environmental impact, and emissions.
Lowering Nitrous Oxide Emissions
Piedmont is designing our lithium hydroxide production plants in Tennessee and North Carolina to include low NOx combustion technology and expects to reduce the number of boilers that will be required to run our processes, thereby further improving our emissions profile.
Boilers use heat to produce hot water and/or steam in a combustion process that releases nitrous oxides (NOx) as byproducts. Low NOx boilers work to mitigate such releases by combining energy efficiency with other upgrades to build systems that require less energy to operate and produce less greenhouse gas emissions.
Reducing Particulate Emissions
A range of technologies and practices are being planned for both the Tennessee Lithium and Carolina Lithium operations. These will play a critical role in helping reduce particulate emissions and dust levels for nearby residents.
We are planning to use electric-powered conveyor belt systems throughout our integrated Carolina Lithium project to move material from our mining operation to our spodumene concentrator and lithium hydroxide production facilities. We believe this system is expected to have the most significant impact in lowering particulate emissions as the operation will require fewer trucks, resulting in less noise and dust compared with traditional operations.
Developing Carbon Benchmarks
As our operations evolve and projects begin commercial production, Piedmont plans to establish benchmarks to measure, monitor, and verify our carbon profile, including Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. In addition to the operations of our assets, we will also examine the ways that we work and develop plans to ensure an environmentally responsible footprint.